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Foam Dyke

10 foot tall foaming dyke saves village
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Flood prevention often fails because it takes too long to construct the flood defences to beat the rising floodwaters.

I propose a sticky, quick setting foam spray that could be built up in layers and would be sufficiently strong when set to block the flow/seepage of water. The foam would be dleivered by truck with an applicator jet. The truck could be airlifted if necessary.

Obviously, this won't work well in two circumstances:

(1) When there's already surface water, because foam has a tendency to float; and

(2) When the flood waters are raging

However,

(1) could be solved with a base/foundation of sandbags

(2) could be solved with a hard shell (I've seen this construction method at an English resort called Alton Towers with glass fibre laid over filler foam for a permanent structure; obviously it needn't be that strong - rubber sheet would do.)

FloridaManatee, Jun 05 2003

Inflatable Dyke http://www.noaq.com/
A Dyke you inflate [No, not that kind] [oneoffdave, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

[link]






       Would this lead to pollution? I imagine the chemicals in the foam would seep into the water and ground.
goober, Jun 05 2003
  

       My understanding was that flood prevention fails because we try to bottle up raging rivers between high walls, rather than letting them dissipate over wide low lying expanses.   

       But to stop local flooding (of your farmhouse, say), I would turn this problem on its head: the one thing yu've got a lot of in a flood is water. So why not use water-filled shells as flood barriers? (No, wait, someone just suggested that.)
DrCurry, Jun 05 2003
  

       An inflatable dyke has been invented by a Swedish chap and details can be found at the [link]
oneoffdave, Jun 05 2003
  

       The answer is Wheatabix and industrial hair-dryers! I believe they are investigating the stuff to use as space-shuttle re-entry tiles...
silverstormer, Jun 05 2003
  

       [Goober], I hope not, I expect the quick set foam to set before it can seep away. The material should be used as sparingly as possible and (if practical) might use biodegradeable ingredients.   

       [DrC], I didn't like the water-filled or air filled ideas because they'd float away, etc. (See my anno in the original idea). This would quickly construct a continuous, solid barrier. I do agree with your comment on damming up waters on a large scale. This would be best used to protect doorways, and building exteriors from damage.   

       [SS], It's not an inflatable dyke. But interesting link.   

       Wheetabix/ Ryvita? I was thinking of something more biodegradeable.
FloridaManatee, Jun 05 2003
  

       Ducks? I think they like custard. Well, who doesn't?
Worldgineer, Jun 05 2003
  

       Duck ala custard. Mmmmm
FloridaManatee, Jun 05 2003
  

       If you incorporated concrete Jersey barriers every 50 feet and strung cyclone fence between them, you could then apply your foaming spray to the fence. The foam barrier would then be moored and unlikely to float away. In addition, the chainlink fence underneath would add structural integrity. You could use the same foam that is marketed for insulation use.
bungston, Jun 05 2003
  
      
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